Summary: We need to be transformed by the man and message of John the Baptist before we celebrate Christmas
Don’t ignore John the baptist
We cannot reach the crib unless we pass through John the Baptist. Before we meet the charming infant smiling in the straw, we are confronted by the terrifying figure of John the Baptist. We can’t experience the Joy of Christmas unless we have the repentance preached by John the Baptist. Some how John the Baptist is sidelined in Christmas celebrations. Is it because he lived on locusts and honey while people of today are more concerned about Christmas cake and delicious dinner. Or, Is it because he dressed in camel’s skin while we look for a suit of the latest fashion?
More than these externals, he is a threatening figure challenging each and everyone’s rotten life. Even if we tend to ignore him, all the four evangelists announce his coming before the Lord’s coming. When people are challenged, there are different kinds of reactions.
Some go into a shell and avoid the prophets
Some others indulge in justification. They want to explain away their present conditions. “After all we are not so bad you see” is their refrain.
Only a few respond saying "What shall we do now?" And the forerunner of the Messiah had answers for each and everyone of these groups:
-- To the people: “If you have two tunics, share with the man who has none, share your food with the one who has nothing to eat”.
--To the tax collectors: “Exact no more than your rate”
--To the soldiers: “No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay”.
To all of us: “Bear fruit that befits repentance”
"We have Abraham as our Father" gloated some of the people. Our vocation, degrees. talents and achievements are purely God’s gratuitous gifts. The Lord is great: Acknowledge his greatness with the Baptist.
" He who is coming after me is mightier than I , whose sandals I am not worthy to carry".
"He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world".
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom and I am only the friend of the bridegroom; He must increase, and I must decrease"
" I am not the light, I only came to bear witness to the light”.
Let us be transformed by the man and message of John the Baptist in order to celebrate a meaningful Christmas.